COVID-19 may have slowed down wedding plans for many couples, but it actually sped things up for Wesley Foong and Angelina Poon, both 26 years old.
“Being separated during the Circuit Breaker showed us how much we wanted to be married and have our own home,” says Angelina.
Raring to start a new life together, the couple decided to move forward their wedding from 2021 to October last year.
And when it came to finding a home, the stars aligned—in the end. They sealed the deal for a 5-room HDB resale at Yishun Riverwalk two months before marriage, and moved in at the start of this year.
An Unlikely Choice
While the timeline for Angelina and Wesley’s marriage and getting a new place lined up nicely, their house-hunting process did face some obstacles.
The pair applied for two Build-to-Order (BTO) projects back in 2019 and 2020, but failed to get a ballot number on both occasions. Realising they couldn’t wait around forever for a BTO, they pivoted to the resale market.
Like most other newlyweds, their ideal home was a 4-room HDB flat, corner unit, on a high floor, and with a spacious balcony. Wesley and Angelina say the flat they now live in wasn’t their first choice. For one, they desired a home in a more central or city fringe location like Toa Payoh or Hougang − where their respective parents live.
“Unfortunately, suitable flats in the central area were too expensive or were being snapped up really quickly,” says Wesley.
Desperate and about to give up on their search, the couple decided to look at Yishun − even though they were completely unfamiliar with the neighbourhood. They were surprised to find many new developments in the area, and realised that they could even afford a bigger 5-room home with their budget.
Being young and new to the whole property search, the couple credit PropertyGuru’s platform for helping them simplify their search.
They saw PropertyGuru as a reputable name synonymous with house-hunting. “Whenever you think of buying a house in Singapore, PropertyGuru naturally comes to mind,” says Wesley.
Angelina also saw her parents using the platform three years back, and was impressed by how easy it was to find houses through the filter function.
“The direct chat feature also made the search more efficient as it immediately let the agents know exactly which listings I was interested in,” she adds.
A Blessing in Disguise
Though their home isn’t on a super high floor with a large balcony, it ended up being just what they needed.
“We actually visited another unit first, and found it rather gloomy and depressing,” shares Wesley. “To our surprise, the sixth floor unit above was so much brighter, better ventilated and more affordable. We felt really rejuvenated when we walked in!”
Knowing the unit wouldn’t stay on the open market for long, the couple made an offer and secured it as soon as possible.
Being on the sixth floor hasn’t bothered them as well. “We rarely open the windows or blinds for fear of insects,” jokes Angelina.
Thanks to how spacious their new home is, they now have a room for each member of their family. A home gym for Wesley, an office for Angelina to conduct her private tuition lessons and a room for their cat Pancake − whom Angelina adopted as a young stray a few years back.
As a self-proclaimed “crazy cat mum”, Angelina is grateful that Pancake has a room of his own. They’ve spruced it up with toys, simple decor and a camera to monitor him.
“I’m terrified of letting him roam around the house unsupervised in case he gets into trouble,” says Angelina. “The room is a safe haven for him.”
Living Together at Last
Despite initially dismissing Yishun as a home location, the couple are now more than happy with their choice.
They love the neighbourhood’s tranquility, nearby amenities like Junction 9 shopping mall and the fact that Yishun and Khatib MRT stations are just a 10-minute walk away.
The avid home cooks are also grateful for their unit’s proximity to a large supermarket nearby. As they often host friends, they can easily head out to buy ingredients and whip up meals like pizza or even Mexican food. As a culinary enthusiast, Wesley even bakes his own bread and often experiments with new recipes.
In future, the lovebirds are hoping to start a family in this home. But for now, they’re simply grateful that they are finally staying together.
“We didn’t get to meet a lot when dating because Wesley is an army regular,” says Angelina. “Now that we’re married and have a house, it’s so nice to see each other every day. We can’t wait to start our life together!”
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